How to Protect Your Site from Google Penguin 2.0

On September 11, 2013, in Google, by Rowan

Google Penguin 2.0

Guest post by Emma-Julie Fox

Within a few days of Google launching Penguin 2.0, a lot of people scrambled to understand what exactly this new algorithm is filtering and how they can protect their sites from getting penalized.

This is understandable, since the work of a lot of people depends on algorithm changes such as the one Google implemented.

So, what should you do to keep your web pages performing well even with Penguin 2.0? Here are a few tips:

1: Don’t Panic

Whenever Google makes algorithm changes, people have a tendency to panic, immediately thinking their websites are going to get penalized. It may be difficult to keep calm in the face of major changes, but that’s something you need to do in order to avoid getting hit.

Remember that decisions made when you’re panicking almost always blow up in your face. Take a step back and review your SEO strategies. Are you using any black hat tactics? If so, STOP. If not, then there’s no reason to panic at all.

2: Adopt a Long-term Strategy

If you truly want your business to grow, you need to plan your SEO strategies for the long term.

This means striving for slow but sure gains over the years, rather than the huge but temporary success commonly associated with black hat SEO tricks.

Your overall SEO plan needs to be flexible, keeping in mind that the internet is constantly changing and so are the rules of online marketing.

You need to be always ready for the next algorithm update as well as the latest online marketing trends.

3: Make Link Audits Part of Your SEO Process

You need to regularly check your links to make sure none of them could be reasons for getting penalized by Google. Make sure all of your links go to and come from pages that are still active, contain significant social engagement, are properly maintained, and are of good quality.

If any page fails in one or more of these things, then you should consider that link potentially toxic, in which case you need to have them removed. Remember that Penguin 2.0 primarily penalizes web spam, so it’s only logical that links are among the first things that’ll be checked. You need to get those bad links before Penguin does.

Helpful SEO Tools

The good news is that if you do find toxic links, there are tools that can help you detoxify. Here are three of the best tools you can use:

Link Detox – This tool can effectively expedite the detoxification process. As soon as you’ve signed up for an account on the Link Detox website, you can start your first report by clicking on the DTOX icon.

You’ll then be brought to a page where you need to provide the name of the site you wish to detox and indicate if Google has given the site an “unnatural link warning.”

You may then click on the “detox my site” button and within a few minutes, you’ll learn which of your links are healthy, which are suspicious, and which ones are downright toxic.

Quick Backlinks Tool – This tool gives you a list of your site’s top 2000 backlinks in just a few seconds. It shows you the link status, anchor text breakdown, and link type so you’ll know if a certain link comes from a redirect, a frame, or an image.

These pieces of information should give you a good idea on how strong your links are. All you need to do is provide the URL you want to analyze and then click on the “Run Report” tab. Voila! You have your report.

Screaming Frog – This tool helps you understand what search engine crawlers are likely to find on your site. All you need to do is download the program, enter the URL of your homepage, and then click on the Start button. The resulting report will show you if there are any broken links you need to fix.

More importantly, you’ll see if some of your external links are redirecting. If so, you need to make sure they aren’t redirecting to bad sites because if they are, then you’ll have to remove them.

Of course, these tools won’t actually do the detoxifying for you, but they let you know which links you need to remove. Once you identify those links, you should then contact the webmasters of the sites where those links come from and ask to have them removed.

If the bad links are still there after three attempts to have them removed, it may be time to disavow those links on Google Webmaster Tools. It may also be a good idea to submit a reconsideration request to Google, explaining how you’ve worked to clean up your site’s link profile.

Building Back Links That Work After Penguin 2.0

Improve Your Social Media Campaign

You’ve probably noticed how social media has grown in importance in recent years. The success of any business has become more and more reliant on people who are active in social media.

As a result, Google has started increasing the value of Google+ for SEO purposes. This makes it all the more important for you to strengthen your social media marketing campaign and create positive signals on multiple social platforms.

Make Content Marketing Work to Your Advantage

Whatever changes Google or any other search engine puts in place, relevant and high-quality content will still be essential to the success of your business.

Therefore, you should continue providing your audience with content they can relate to and more importantly, content they’re likely to find both interesting and useful.

Make sure each piece of content you post is long enough to provide real value (at least 700 words) and then throw in a couple of images here and there to offer a respite from boring walls of text. This is the kind of content that often leads to natural link building opportunities.

Okay, so now you know how to protect your sites from getting penalized by Penguin 2.0, but what if you’ve already been penalized? What can you do to get back on track? You may want to give these a try:

Evaluate Your Links

In the same way a link audit helps you avoid getting penalized, it can also help you get back on track after being penalized. There has to be a reason why you’re being penalized, right? As mentioned above, links are among the first things Penguin 2.0 is likely to check.

Therefore, there’s a good chance the problem with your sites can be found in your links. Be sure to check both inbound and outbound links. Remove all of the bad links and then see if your site’s rankings improve.

Remember that it can take some time for your site to regain its original rankings, so you need to go through the process patiently.

Attain Balance

When you build links, remember that it’s important to do so in moderation. Likewise, you need to attain proper balance in link building. What exactly does this mean?

Well, if you build links exclusively from article dissemination tactics, you’re just as likely to get penalized as someone who builds links through black hat strategies.

What you need to do is build just a few links each month and make sure your links come from or connect to a variety of sites.

The kind of links that aren’t likely to get you in trouble (as long as you link in moderation) are infographic links, guest blog links, giveaway links, and links from competitors. It’s a good idea to draw up a link building plan to be on the safe side.

Reality Check

Whether you have an in-house SEO expert or you’ve chosen to outsource your SEO needs, you need to make sure the person (or persons) in charge of optimizing your sites know how to deal with the latest changes.

If you notice your webmaster panicking or not really knowing what to do, you’ll have to drop him.

Although that might seem like a drastic move, but it could be the most important move you’ll ever make in your effort to save your business from the Penguin.

A good SEO expert/company can definitely help you grow your business, but a bad one will only succeed in ruining your site.

The Google Penguin 2.0 changes may indeed pose a lot of threats to your website, but it doesn’t have to be such a huge problem. There are steps you can take to avoid getting in trouble and steps you can take to get out of trouble.

What’s important is for you to remember that the three pillars of SEO at this point are content, social media, and links. As long as you focus on the quality of these pillars, you should be good to go.

About The Author

Emma-Julie Fox writes for Pitstop Media Inc, an SEO company in Vancouver that has helped many businesses in and around North America increase their organic search visibility.

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There are many mistakes that website owners make when trying to “do SEO” on their sites. It’s not so much a thing that you do, it’s everything you do, as Google will be looking at what you had for breakfast that morning.
Doing SEO
Many people get swept up in the idea that there is a quick fix, and that you can just pay someone who knows what they’re doing to do the right things, and then you’ll be ranking first on the first page, but it’s not quite that simple.

Google has changed their algorithms quite substantially in the last few years, and punished “link farms” and “content farms” to the point that there is barely a single way to get a good link that makes any difference in your rankings these days.

The lower quality links such as social bookmarking sites are practically useless, or the time it takes to do is not worth the benefit you get from doing it.

In my experience, the only thing that works is getting links from authority sites, or relevant sites that have some authority.

For example, if you have a site that is about social media marketing, or internet marketing generally, you might want to submit a guest post on a site like mine, so long as you can write in good English and can follow the guidelines, (check out the home page).

What To Do If Google Punishes You

There are so many different overlapping algorithms on Google, you are being punished and rewarded in different measures all the time, it’s just a matter of how much, and whether it’s positive or negative.

My view is that the only way you can survive is to keep writing, or blogging. Blogging has become an important way for Google to tell which sites are fresh, and which are stale and old.

A site with a blog on it that is updated regularly will do better than a site that doesn’t have a blog, given that all other factors are pretty much the same.

I have personally given up on trying to rank the home page of this site for social media marketing services, and it only ranks for affordable social media marketing services because it used to be called that.

It’s not easy to rank for a high competition phrase, but while you’re making blog posts, you’re ranking for a whole bunch of smaller searches with less competition, and the traffic just finds it’s way to the same pages you were trying to drive traffic to in the first place.

For me, the home page is where I’m trying to send people, but what I’m also trying to do is get them to send me a message, and start a conversation.

I can give you free advice, and suggest a service that would be the most beneficial to your business. My email is in the sidebar, I provide all manner of services, especially to do with social media.


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How Do You Rank A You Tube Video On Google?

On August 12, 2012, in You Tube, by Rowan

How To Rank A Video On Google

I have personally been looking into this question for a while, of how to rank a You Tube video in a popular Google search. It is not as easy as some would say it is, as there is often a lot of competition on You Tube as well, even if it’s easy to get Google to show video results for a particular search.How do you rank a You Tube video on Google?

The You Tube search engine is both really simple, and really complex at the same time. They can tell what somebody is saying in a video, and you have the option of putting a transcript on your video so that it reads the words out as you’re saying them.

This doesn’t mean that a video without a person talking will rank lower, and there are all sorts of things like the bounce rate, the amount of comments, the amount of likes, the amount of shares, and the amount of views that come into play.

There is also the keyword tags, which Google takes more notice of when it comes to You Tube videos. The reason why it takes more notice of these on a video is that they can’t always tell what a video is about except for the title and tags, if there’s not much in the description.

You can successfully mess around with some of these signals, but there are also a lot of barriers put in place to prevent you from messing around with things like views.

If you get too many views or likes too quickly, your view count will freeze, and it only unfreezes if you keep getting views in a natural looking way. Google can tell where the views are coming from, so you can’t use a traffic exchange or anything like that.

What I Do When Trying To Rank A You Tube Video

When I try to get a lot of You Tube views, I usually just share the video a lot with my tens of thousands of social connections, and there are sites where you can swap or pay for people to tweet or share your link with their social connections.

Social media is probably the best way to approach getting You Tube views, because it looks natural, it is going out to real people who are only watching the video because they were interested enough to click on the link, and it also helps with SEO, because it’s a back link from the right link text, even if it’s a no follow link.

A bunch of social shares on Facebook or Twitter seem like a natural thing that any good You Tube video would get, and so it doesn’t hurt the ranking of the video at all.

There is some debate as to whether traditional back linking methods have much effect on the ranking of a You Tube video on Google, but at the very least, back links lead to targeted views, and embedded views, and perhaps viral sharing, and this is going to help the ranking of your video.

Most people would say just make sure it’s good, and if you can’t make a video that people want to watch, then you might want to pay for some affordable video production services.

I can also provide SEO services, perhaps for your video and your site and your Facebook page at the same time. It’s a good idea for SEO to link out to multiple sites from the one back link, perhaps linking to other high authority sites at the same time.

That’s one aspect of the hilltop algorithm, which is how Google ranks “expert’ pages and “authority” pages.

You notice that Wikipedia links out to dozens of high authority sites on every page, as well as cross linking within their own site.

It’s no coincidence that they are usually ranked at the top of a Google search on almost anything, and if you could get a back link from Wikipedia, that would be awesome, but I’ve tried that, and it’s not easy.

I do know how to get people to write blog reviews, or for a fair price, I can even write them myself.

I’m not much of a writer, or I don’t really have the time to write all day long, (unless it paid well), but in order to do SEO properly, you need a lot of high quality, relevant, original content linking back to your site, or in this case video, perhaps in a link pyramid.

Along with some high quality and natural looking views, social shares, comments, likes, subscribers, channel back links, comments on other videos and channels leading to your channel, you can rank a video highly on the first page of Google.

At least that’s how it works in theory anyway. Send me a message at [email protected] to talk about my social media marketing and SEO services. There are some Pay Pal buttons on the home page, or I can send you an invoice or something.

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Can You Fool Google?

On August 21, 2011, in Google, by Rowan

Can You Fool Google?

Can you fool Google really with the same on-page and off-page search engine optimization techniques which might have worked even a few months ago?

This post is attempt to test that theory. I’ve had bad luck trying to fool Google with making tons of back links, so I’m going to try some of the on-page optimization techniques that I’ve heard about in order to test them out.

Firstly, I’ve got an H1 tag straight at the top of this article with the same keyword phrase as my title, even though it looks crap on this particular theme.

I also started the first sentence in the first paragraph with my main keyword phrase, and I’m going to include it in the last paragraph as well, in bold or italic text.

I’m going to include some of the keywords in the title in a H2 subheading, along with a photo, titled with similar keywords, and with an alt text and description related to the general topic, including some of those keywords.

Some people spend years learning how to fool Google by making back links, and then a change in the algorithms comes along and makes them have to learn it all over again.





Can You Really Fool Google?

This is more of a question than an answer,because I’ve been trying to learn how to give Google the signs that it wants for over two years, and just when I think I’ve figured it out, it changes again.

Can you fool Google? I will let you know if this works or not once it’s been indexed for a week. Otherwise, sign up to the newsletter, and I’ll email you the results of this test, plus a lot of other helpful information.

If you think you have found a way to fool Google, you may be mistaken, because they are always changing their algorithms to combat spam.

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